22 posts categorized "Animals: Birds"

April 15, 2014

Our members have voted—and the chick is Ruggles!

For Karen - Rockhopper penguin  chick with Dr  Bill 9 months D75Q7605

Does she look like a Ruggles? That was the overwhelming opinion of Shedd members, who were invited to vote on a name for the female rockhopper penguin chick.

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December 28, 2013

Shedd Celebrates the Endangered Species Act’s 40th Anniversary

Blue Head Iguana__480P7311

Forty years ago today, President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act to help save animals, plants and their habitats from extinction. Today, we celebrate the successes of the law and the 2,140 species it continues to protect – including 14 endangered or threatened species at Shedd.

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November 07, 2013

Long-lived and going strong

Grandad vintage

As veterinary science advances at a clip that rivals human medicine, animals in aquariums and zoos are living not just healthier but also longer lives. Australian lungfish Granddad, shown above in 1933, celebrated his 80th anniversary at Shedd earlier this year. Along with being Shedd’s oldest animal, he’s also the oldest fish in any public zoological facility in the world. But is he a senior or is he just middle-aged? Like 60 is the new 40 for a lot of people, several of Shedd’s longevity-busters are in their prime, thanks to excellent care—and, of course, good genes.

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May 31, 2013

Happy Garden for Wildlife Month


Although the weather this month hasn’t always been seasonal, May is Garden for Wildlife Month. As summer finally approaches at the end of the month, however, it’ll soon be the perfect time to take a stroll along Lake Michigan—and the lush gardens that wrap around Shedd’s exterior. You won’t be the only visitor: If you look closely, you’ll notice that the carefully planted gardens surrounding Shedd serve as a welcome sign to birds and insects of all kinds.

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May 11, 2013

Migratory Bird Day and Red-wing Springs

Red Winged Blackbird_blog
To celebrate International Migratory Bird Day—today!—we’re going to look at one of the most conspicuous migratory species that you’ll see on Shedd’s grounds. From its high-pitched trill to a flash of red on black to the surprising thunk on the back of your head, the red-winged blackbird is hard to ignore.

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March 26, 2013

The Case of the Fractured Feathers

Red-tail Athens_blog
Diagnosing an animal’s ailment is a lot like detective work. Because the animal cannot directly tell the veterinarian where it hurts, the doctor has to look for clues, from blood tests, digital X-rays and other evidence, and ask questions of key witnesses—the trainers—to solve the medical mystery.

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October 08, 2012

The Bird Is the Word: Fall Migration

Black_and_White_WarblerAutumn is officially upon us. For wildlife around the Great Lakes region, it’s a time to prepare for winter. One of the most noticeable preparations we can see is fall bird migration.

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September 10, 2012

Your Patience Is Appreciated while the Penguins Replume

Penguin Encounter_blog

If you’ve called recently about booking an encounter with one of our Magellanic penguins, you know that the birds are molting. We suspend the penguin encounters during this two- to three-week period while the birds refeather.

For penguins, molting is an annual process during which they completely replace their plumage. (Some bird species have a second either partial or complete molt during the year.)

“The Magellanics look like shorn sheep,” says Lana Vanagasem, Shedd's supervisor of sea otters and penguins, shown above leading a penguin encounter. The birds probably feel like it, too. She speculates that the sensation of the new feathers emerging from the follicles in the skin is itchy. “They definitely can be irritable during molt,” she says.

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March 24, 2011

My Penguin Encounter

407-web I’ve always had a fascination with penguins, ever since I was a child. However, never in my wildest dreams did I actually think I’d meet a penguin. Then, one day, I sat on a small bench surrounded by strangers (who would quickly become friends based on this amazing shared experience) and there in front of me stood 407. At just under 2 years old, 407 is a juvenile Magellanic penguin and one of the many penguins that are a part of the encounter program at Shedd. This extraordinary experience, similarly to Shedd’s Beluga Encounter and Trainer for a Day programs, allow guests to get a close-up, behind-the-scenes experience - not just for entertainment, but an amazing opportunity to learn more about these beautiful animals.

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May 04, 2010

International Migratory Bird Day

Before I moved to Chicago last year, I said goodbye to the birds on the shores of Seattle’s Union Bay. Chicago is so large that I figured I’d be fortunate to see more than pigeons in-between skyscrapers. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong.

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